hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Expiration Date Passed

So you pour that glass of milk without a second thought, the instant it touches the tip of your tongue you know. You search discreetly yet rapidly for someplace to relieve your mouth of this horrible self-inflicted invasion. Once the fluid is eliminated you move on and find something to take that bad taste out of your mouth, but that does NOT mean you will never drink milk again..

In your mind you think, “We” are the perfect match. We like the same movies, we enjoy the same foods, our religious and political beliefs and affiliations are in sync. While it is not always the basis for a relationship, but it is important, the attraction and sexual energy is REAL”. Yet, as you sit across the table from one another it is the unspoken that has served as a “roadblock” for far too many years. Once again it is staring you in the face

Traveling back to the beginning you realize the unspoken was the issue back then too. You think perhaps if this had been addressed, “nipped in the bud” so to speak, we could have moved forward and hopefully in the manner that YOU think you wanted it to. Now you are impatient. You are in a constant state of urgency…why now.. BECAUSE YOU have decided it was time or do you simply grow tired of something you never thought you could bring yourself to admit to. Think of the milk, as you decide the fate of this “friendship/relationship”. You are not good and making decisions when it comes to the two of you, you cannot even decide what to call what you are, or is it you are afraid to face what it truly is. Actions, not simply names, oftentimes define our interpersonal interactions and you KNOW this.

Now the data has been gathered, the timing is right you “dive into the deep end” without hesitation. It IS good because you are no longer seeking answers, but providing information. This is cathartic, soul cleansing and you do not have ANY expectations from this because ultimately you have already accomplished what you set out to do.

What follows is irrelevant. Yet prior to the space you now occupy these same occurrences would have urged you to continue in the fashion and manner the two of you had always conducted yourselves. Don’t be distracted or confused, instead embrace your decision.

For future references and looking forward, you will check that carton to make sure the expiration date has NOT passed before you pour a glass and drink from it.

Is This Love Or Want?

Trying to make a decision about this has been taxing my mind for awhile.

I remember the first day we met like it was yesterday, the smiles were permanently etched in my mind.

How could we ever know that decades later we would still have this personal intimate connection without being openly involved.

Seemingly we kept missing one another and in the midst of these “misses”, other people and relationships entered into our respective lives. Religious folks speak of “road blocks” appearing to spare one a more disastrous occurrence. So many unspoken words, so many missed opportunities. Yet we still remained in one another’s lives.

How many times have I imagined MY version of the “happy ending”. I see myself in the kitchen looking outside as I wash dishes. I see you coming up behind me, kissing me on the neck. The thought makes me smile. We are far passed the romantic notions of young, fit, beautiful adults, but sometimes when I look into your eyes, read your messages, hear you say certain words, it is easy for me to convince myself this is right, this IS meant to be.

As I catch these glimpses of reality, I ask myself, “What does HE see when he looks at me? I am NOT pleased at self most of the time so what can I hope to project?” I quickly dismiss those thoughts. I ONLY want HIM to want me…virtually nothing else matters. I fill the time we are apart or at odds, with others who can only buy me a meal or share a phone conversation. For HE is the standard that MUST be met.

My time with him is gratifying but it has not been sweet and/or endearing for a long time now. This is why the questions arise. How can I love a man who is NOT loving to me? Am I grabbing for the love or is it the “win”. is this the feeling of “want”? I will not feel more for him than he feels for me. As I live with the belief that if the situation that keeps us apart were different, he STILL would not choose me. So I say, ” I will NOT feel more for him than he feels for me.” I simply MUST believe that, and yet I know nothing could be farther from the truth.

Ah…The Dreams

When my husband decided that our youngest son should be/would be an attorney, I questioned it. I was happy because I love law and would have been thrilled IF HE decided HE wanted to be an attorney, and not simply going along with the desires of his father. However, that was not the case. As a young adult who had his own mind and intentions, he also respected his father and did NOT want to disappoint him so in early stages of higher education he allowed his father to chase HIS dream vicariously. I watched our son do things and pursue things that did not go along with someone who was interested in the legal profession on any level. He was artistic and showed interests in that area. Finally, he grew confident enough in his choices and revealed them to his dad, who accepted his decisions. Not only was our son pleasantly surprised, so was I.

Fast forward, my granddaughter the “Ninja Ballerina” not trying to sound like a typical “stage mom” she is a very talented child even gifted. She unlike her proud Abuela takes her accomplishments in stride. However, hard as I try, I still find myself imagining her as a Prima Ballerina/TaeKwonDo Grand Master IN ADDITION to whatever other career SHE chooses..Magnanimous of me right? Remember SHE takes her accomplishments in stride. I reluctantly had to come to grips with her nearly falling asleep at performances of Alvin Ailey or The Nutcracker..I tried so hard to ignore these signs. As she enjoyed being a Black Belt and now charged with instructing the lower level students, she seemed wary and impatient that they did NOT instantly progress as she thought they should. Maybe it is inexperience, maybe it is immaturity, maybe she just does not want to do either of these two things I helped direct and expose her to… So now I also had to face perhaps I was doing a bit of vicarious living, as my late husband did with our late son.

I, now alone, NEED dreams. Although, I do not dream; at least to the point where I can remember them. So what is a dream? What is it to dream and how do you feel when you lose the ability to have these very valuable tools of our very special brains?

Dreamers, they are the artists and architects of the beauty of our world in many, many ways. While we all may NOT possess the ability to affect our environment at the level they do, we do have an affect. When we lose that gift of dreaming our value, our purpose begins to move away from our very grasp. Those dreams, those subconscious images that invade our spaces while we are helplessly sleeping, are images of desires and hope we have in our conscious state. Sometimes it is easy to dismiss these very dreams because it has been said, “if you can dream it, it can be done” implying the dream is less important than the final product. Thus the explanation of how folks sometimes grow weary of a dreamer, because the thought pattern is… stop dreamin and start doin. Is the dream stage is a waste of time? No it is not.

Consider this, losing the ability of dreaming is a crippling event. I read of a conquering army explaining why they killed their enslaved and former enemies children. The statement was “You kill their children or when you kill their children you kill their dreams”. In short saying the conquerors were giving them no need, desire, or ability to make any moves on their own. They are now only “shells” that basically become tools which can be manipulated and used until they are no more. I understand and can relate to that thinking because of my loss of my child.. the challenges and phases are many but when you are in the dark places it is when you feel that overwhelming loss ; loss of presence, loss of hope… loss of the dreams.

We do not control dreams but as I have come to know we can resist and fight sleep, it is just as possible for us to fight the ability to dream. That I say relax, go to sleep and allow yourself to dream. Dreaming is good for us, if it only provides us with a short organic escape from our reality.

Precious

Things seemed to be going along rather well, so it seemed. They were dating regularly. He was calling to check on her. Most importantly the compatibility factor had advanced to the point of them being intimate. Finally, a happy place.

However, in the weeks to follow she found little indicators around his place. They were NOT in plain sight but they were NOT buried either. Feeling a bit hurt and a bit confrontational she asked him about the items. At first there was a denial, but that soon gave way to an explanation that was not what one wants to hear. The owner of the items was a woman/ a lady that he could not get out of his system. Furthermore, he did NOT want to get her out. Precious. For one reason or another they could not be together. The exact reason remained an enigma. He did make it clear that as long as there was breath in his body, if she came around/into town he had room in his house, his bed, his heart for her.. Wow.. what a revelation. How does one take such information in?

In his life for so many years, through the trials of life they have danced with and around one another. Once again there is availability but there is a complicated clause. Standing between the possibility of them being a couple is another individual. An innocent, unaware of the entry into a semi-occupied zone, but there just the same. His Precious begins to move to close and he has to move away, push her away…gently because he does NOT want her to walk away forever. he needs time to re-group and re-assess. Then, and only then, the dance can continue. How long will he be able to keep this up and how long will she knowingly participate?

Relegated to the ranks of “fantasy lover” these mysterious, elusive creatures grace mere mortals with their presence periodically. They always are desired because they cannot/will not be had; do they enjoy the spots they occupy or do they long to be in the place where their beloved wants them to be. Do they even know they exist in these special places? Do their beloved really know what they want? Perhaps they simply are so very wanted because they cannot be attained.

Peeling back the layers, we can see the barricades are both real and imagined. Maybe it is not easy but the chance has to be taken, someone has to take the calculated risk. The other solution is what it has been and will continue to be.. the undefined, the stolen moments, the part-time relationships that begin and end in secrecy.

The Nice Guys

It is said they finish last. However, what would we be left with if not for them? In reality they are few and far between, but they are out there. True gentlemen, some are soft spoken, often time many are humble in demeanor, he tends to go unnoticed. NOT what will generally catch your eye or should I say who will catch your eye.

Flipthescript..If you look around, it will not take long to spot him. He may or may not be rather loud, but he will get your attention. He may not be that handsome but you will not know it, you will be drawn to him. You ask why…well you clearly like trouble. You are NOT alone; there is something exciting and intriguing about the guy that trouble seems to follow, especially when he does not run from or even try to avoid that same trouble.

Everything about these polar opposites is exuded in their every move. While our perpetual “bad boy” walks into a room and scans it for opportunity, the “nice guy” tries to enter that same room virtually unnoticed. Their respective eye contact introduces and announces them. The “nice guy” will give a sweet inviting greeting while our “bad boy” will give off an almost dare to you as well as an approach. The one thing they share, the one thing they have in common, is that ALL they both do is deliberate.

Whether we are aware of it or not, we strive to find one who possesses characteristics like honesty, loyalty, reliability. Yet why are some drawn to the” bad boy” who offers virtually none of those things. I can only offer my personal observations and experiences. He is exciting, unpredictable and he makes your heart race. From the perspective of a “roller coaster enthusiast” this works. One simply has to realize on the flip side those same characteristics are a lot less attractive when it is time to pay bills. Then we re-evaluate and have to admit the Nice Guy may have been the option we should have selected after all.

Inspired

Lines, lines, lines…seems the story of all of our lives these days. Yet, slowly but surely we are adjusting. Some adjust more easily than others,travelling along the road of least resistance.

With our everyday lives in this upheaval you MUST MAKE yourself take time out and slow it down a bit, notice the simple and beautiful things.. forget that many say I just want to go here or there, pick up this or that and get away from the reality nonsense. Many of us are “empty-nesters”, many are simply alone, therefore the challenges of meal preparation often falls to the way-side and take-out/fast food/delivery become the go-to plan. No matter how I try to resist I find myself in line waiting on food at least 3X’s a week. It proves both costly and annoying..but what to do?

This morning an INSPIRED situation was relayed to me. Here it is;

What would you think if after sitting in line at your local favorite fast food spot, for 20 minutes or longer, once you got to the window to pay the cashier told you it had already been taken care of. What you you think? My answer in this time of uncertainty and disdain.. I said,” I would think someone was paying it forward, what a nice kind thing to do.”

Later it was revealed to me the person relaying the story was the person who had actually done the good deed. I was not surprised but still I could not stop smiling. I will leave the who out of this piece, for I pay homage to her regularly. I will say this I was NOT surprised because I KNOW her and the nature of her being. I hope everyone has such a person in their lives to balance out the uneven times. I am now challenged to be simply INSPIRED for no apparent reason. I hope YOU, my audience, are as well.

Paralyzed

Physically it must be unbearable..captured, bound, unable to move. The inability to escape a situation. Yet,our minds can become just as helpless. I found myself in that place. Seeing so many things within the reach of my outstretched hand but somehow unable to muster the strength, the will to do anything but be aware of how close I was to the very thing I wanted or needed.  Still I hesitated.

Never does it occur to you that our very own emotions and subconscious controls us with such magnitude, that we are just frail little beings, unable to fend for themselves. Being paralyzed reminds us of that weaken state that is slowly or rapidly (depends on perspective) approaching..OUR  AGE/OUR MORTALITY.

Sometimes it hurts when we move this way, sometimes I cannot recall where I put whatever,  or a statement like , I sure miss so-in-so, they left us here far too soon, becomes far too familiar. There is our task, to remember WE ARE STILL HERE! Battle against nature and the physical awareness, that we are no longer what we used to be.

I am a bit of an expert on a subject that I, by-no-means wanted to become an expert on. Yet it happened anyway. I sometimes sit in my place surrounded by memories, photographically and memory induced. I cannot believe I am not screaming to the tops-of-my-lungs in anguish and hurt. Believe this, it is not because I do NOT feel the pain. Rather it is because I often time am NOT able to truly comprehend what I have lived through, nor what I am actually feeling. I sit, awestruck, unable to move, and very much paralyzed.

Be it physical or mental that inability to move is still real. The helpless feeling is ever-present and overwhelming. What are we to do? The solution does seem obvious and simple..just move and keep moving, that is until you get stuck and stop. Then you are once again paralyzed.

The Cops ARE The Klan

For the purpose of this piece AND in my mind, there IS a difference between COPS and the POLICE.

To many in the African American community good cops are the exception, NOT the rule. I know this is not a popular thought pattern for our Anglo counterparts, but it is truth none-the-less.

It pains me to have to repeatedly write pieces that have this type of content. I long for the day when I can say “It once was…” that day is not here, not now . Therefore as the daughter of a black man, the wife of a black man, the mother of two black men, the cousin/aunt/ friend of black men and now the grandmother of a future black man I write from my heart, I speak from my reality, I bare my soul.

Once they rode cloaked in hoods covered by the night, they did the unspeakable while only their “kind” watched approvingly. When daylight came the evidence of their horrific INHUMANE deeds visible to all began to meet with scrutiny and judged unpopular they slithered away, waiting for an opportunity to rise up and show themselves for what they still were, again. Law, order, human rights and civility came to the forefront as the world watched. They were displaced, their Christian views and values could NOT stand up to the heinous acts they committed. Now they were the hunted, now they were the undesirables, now no one even the ones who had a similar physical appearance wanted anything to do with them. Their backers portrayed them as ignorant volatile characters prone to violence, not civilized beings like the people who paid for this organization to exist. The big picture was the klan is NOT anyone, at least not anyone you know or want to know.

In order to survive,they had to change. They had to fit in, they had to now more than before look like everybody else. They had to change their appearance;the image had to get an overhaul. After all if you are doing nothing wrong, why do you hide your face. Enter David Duke, clean cut, clean shaven in a suit. The words he spoke were clear and  rather soft spoken, he was not shouting. The illusion of reasonable was all about him, so HE and HIS kind started slowly”mainstreaming”. The hoods missing but the message still the same.  The klan looked different… on the surface.  Bare in mind all monster don’t scare you initially, because they look like the guy who lives next door or down the street. Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy lived next door to and down the street from someone too.

The image of the overweight sheriff with a southern drawl was transformed into a young college graduate and his agenda was..Law and Order. What better place for an aspiring klansman than your local police precinct AND furthermore he did NOT have to have a college degree. The new cloak of cover was a badge and the hidden agenda protected by the thin blue line. Brotherhood, camaraderie quietly protected disparaging treatment and illegal acts. Oh but what would we do without the police?

In the white community they visit schools, wave at the kids playing in the streets of their suburban neighborhoods as they slowly drive by. In the black community lights flashing, sirens screaming and when a police car drives by slowly it is because they are silently issuing a threat, not presenting reassurance.

I MUST again state all POLICE are NOT bad, all are NOT klansmen. Yet when the word reform is mentioned, there is a cry of FOUL. Why don’t you want to make changes in a system that clearly has flaws? When you say that there is NO WRONG DOING, the system works just fine..  you either prove you are uniformed or you are as corrupt as you are being accused of . “Thou doth protest too much”.  Let’s face it, the policing organization in general was infiltrated, PERIOD. Once again we find an organization needing re-packaging, re-imagining, re-purposing. These two organizations which, by all accounts, should be as polar opposite as can be still share a common thread. The image requires an overhaul, but do understand the image is NOT ALL THAT MUST CHANGE.

Tryin To Forget You Were Just A Waste Of Time

Is that true? Is it that simple? I do not agree. You can analyze and document your time as though relationships are on-the-clock. Yet in the end it is simply humans trying to explain away one more thing we do not understand.

Indigenous people, the ancient Romans and Greeks utilized stories of these amazing super powerful all knowing beings to justify claps of thunder or lack of water. Sometimes life became so enthralling that these superior individuals graced mere mortals with their passion and love. In the end the differences were too vast, the goals were too unattainable, the payoff was just out of reach. The mortal was left in a shambles, the gods returned to their intended place only slightly scathed, and the world though disrupted managed to continue.

When is time wasted? If the outcome is not what you wanted does NOT constitute a waste, rather it is just an outcome you would have preferred to be different. Consider this, suppose you did have it YOUR way but in the end it still was not what you wanted or expected..still think a waste of time? No… take a second look. Things pan-out appropriately for the time. To your liking or disliking, but it is not a waste of time. Don’t try to forget it, that would be a disservice.

Conflicted

How do we hope to figure out this thing called life. We exist in the present while our pasts are so fresh it seems like only yesterday when we walked across that stage.

To move forward we must not keep looking back.  Yet we cannot ignore the fact there is something back there.

In the present you wait for the perpetual “shoe to drop.” The relationship that was wonderful and unexpected happens. In the end there were only moments. The highs never could surpass the disappointments of the lows, or the stirs of reality.

As you anticipated the beautiful afternoon interludes, you now anticipate and search for a way to let them down easy. In the back of your mind you hope they will decide to just drop you, so you don’t have to be the “bad guy”. You know you can live with yourself. Secretly, you really wish it would have worked out.  Realizing the switch has been turned off, you still search for your feelings. You put it out there, you want advice and hint at this. You do however, realize you put your friends and confidants in a position of being blamed if their suggestions or comments are taken to heart and it still turns out badly.

We all search for the ultimate solution one that will make us feel good or even one that will end well. I was once told and repeatedly share, “Sometimes things have to end badly or they simply won’t end.

” Speak kindly of me, my love.” There are the fond memories and “We’ll always have Paris”

 

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